This past week, grade eight students of the Yeshiva of Central Queens went on a virtual field trip (via Zoom) to the Tenement Museum, and learned about the Rogarshevskys, a Jewish American family that lived at 97 Orchard Street in the 1910s. Students viewed immigration documents, their conditions at home, and at work. They were shown the difficulties the family endured in maintaining observant Judaism. Rabbi Landsman, Principal of YCQ, said, “It is important for new generations to understand our past in the present, in order to explore their future, a future of keeping Judaism alive and prospering.”

The Tenement Museum website states, “Virtual field trips at the Tenement Museum immerse students into the past through 360° images, video, and primary sources. On their virtual visit, students explore history through the stories of real people and see how their own stories are part of history. Immigration and migration are the foundation for all programs, and museum educators connect the themes of belonging, community building, and cultural adaptation in programming to create entry points for students of all identities and experiences.”

The coordinator of the trip, Mrs. Maisel, JHS Social Studies Teacher, put a lot of effort into the program. “We were able to see the inside of a tenement and learn more details about the newly immigrated Jewish family,” Mrs. Maisel stated. “We have a better understanding of how difficult it was to come to New York City without speaking the language and having to work so hard to make ends meet. This added so much to our study of Immigration, and we were left with greater respect for our ancestors.”

By Assaf Davidov, Grade 8